Dark magic, witches and “the Dude” (Jeff Bridges’ famed role in “The Big Lebowski”) prevailed at a special screening of Universal Pictures’ epic fantasy adventure “Seventh Son” in New York City on Friday night.
The film’s stars, Bridges and Julianne Moore — last seen together onscreen in the Coen brothers’ 1998 cult classic, 17 years prior — reunited at the Crosby Street Hotel for the first time since “Seventh Son” wrapped in 2012. The movie’s release was long delayed after Legendary Pictures parted ways with Warner Bros., originally on board to distribute the project.
With Bridges and Moore back together, the red carpet was abuzz with “Big Lebowski” talk. Is a follow-up to the slacker comedy in the works? Would Bridges ever bring back “the Dude”?
“Oh God yes, I would do a sequel,” Bridges told Variety. “I’ll do anything the Coen brothers ask me. I take that very seriously. But there’s nothing official… there are only rumors.”
And convincing ones, at that. “This last rumor even fooled me,” Bridges confessed. “It was quite detailed and it said who was going to be in it — but it wasn’t true. We will just have to wait (and see) if (the sequel) happens or not.”
In the meantime, moviegoers can see Bridges and Moore play archenemies — a mystical warrior and dark queen, respectively — in director Sergei Bodrov’s fantastical film based on Joseph Delaney’s 2004 novel “The Spook’s Apprentice.”
In the supernatural story, the local Spook (Bridges) seeks out the last Seventh Son born with mystical powers (played by Ben Barnes), who is pitted against an evil witch queen (Moore) when she escapes her confinement.
Moore — the newly minted SAG winner and Oscar frontrunner for “Still Alice” — was delighted to team up with Bridges for a second time.
“He is so talented, funny and endlessly curious. He makes every day a lot of fun,” she divulged on the carpet. “There’s something astonishing about how present Jeff is, and the way he communicates. He always makes you better at your job.”
This latest job committed her to hours in the makeup chair. To play a villainous, seductive, shape-shifting witch, Moore donned about five inches of hair extensions, talons covering her fingers and skin-tight black leather costumes with feathers.
“I wore more makeup in this movie than in any other movie I’ve ever made,” she said. “If you told my makeup artist, she would be appalled, because she thinks I’m so glamorous. But I have huge, long eyelashes on and (got) to play a very glamorous witch, (which) was so much fun.”
As for Bridges, what he liked most about playing his role was wielding a sword and shooting fight sequences.
“It’s like being a kid, shooting all those fight scenes,” noted the 65-year-old Oscar winner. “I had a wonderful stunt coordinator and stunt man to work with, but I like to do as much as I can. I love to get physical.”
Bridges and Moore’s co-star Barnes, known for playing Prince Caspian in “The Chronicles of Narnia” films, had one very specific draw to the project.
“Jeff was the main reason why I wanted to do the film in the first place,” he said. “I saw that Jeff Bridges was attached, and (was told), ‘He would be your scene partner for all of your scenes,’ and that’s absolutely a no-brainer.”
How did the experience of working opposite Bridges pan out? “It was an amazing opportunity to learn and watch someone so closely whom I have admired for so long,” Barnes said. “I couldn’t really have hoped for more out of him. He was willing to take me through the script, and he would show me his cartoons, and we talked about what we wanted out of the scene. He would play music to me, and we would have this kind of campfire to our relationship, and that’s why it works so well in the film. He is one of a kind.”
Following the screening, Barnes joined his “Seventh Son” producers Jillian Share and Erica Lee at the Crosby Street Hotel’s swanky private lounge for an intimate reception. There, the British actor socialized with supporters and enjoyed a beverage. Other guests, including “X-Men” actor Brian Cox, “Glee’s” Nolan Gerard Funk and fashion designer Nicole Miller, helped celebrate the film over beer, beef sliders and French fries.
“Seventh Son,” from Universal Pictures, opens in theaters on February 6.